I went out to dinner with a friend last week and enjoyed a long evening of eating, drinking, and gabbing. Our meal lasted a couple of hours and we each had two glasses of wine. Then we went to a neighborhood gem of a bar next door for an after-dinner drink and casually sipped a cocktail while continuing to hang out for a couple of hours. So here's the math; two glasses of wine and one cocktail over a four-hour period that included dinner. When I saw him again the next day, he referenced things in our conversation from the night before that I simply didn't remember. I felt awful and somewhat embarrassed. How could that be? I certainly couldn't blame it on the alcohol since it was a tame night with reasonable consumption.
The next day I was sitting on the back patio with my housemate and two friends of his that were staying with us from Michigan. It was the tail end of their five-day stay with us and we had found time throughout the week to visit and enjoy some of the beach weather together. At one point during our time on this final day my housemate referenced "Megan" in his story. My first thought was, "Who's Megan?" The girl sitting next to me, our house guest for the last four days, spoke up in response. My next thought, "Oh my gosh; she's Megan! I didn't know her name this whole week! I am entirely confident that my inability to learn her name wasn't from a lack of introductions.
It doesn't take a forensics specialist to conclude that I'm clearly not listening to people and life's happening right in front of me! I can't illustrate an exact road map outlining where my mind actually is traveling during these moments, but I would guess it is someplace between the destinations of "To Do lists, men/dating, and fall fashion. I plan to work on my active listening skills this week and encourage you to do the same!
THE CHALLENGE DAY 24
Physical: Our bodies can have a lot to say about guiding us toward improved physical health. That stomach grumble, the sore muscles, slumped shoulders or achy feet. We all know these physical indicators are directions for us to take, but are we listening? Be an active listener with your body this week and when you hear or feel the signs, take action!
Personal: I will be the first to admit that I don't always listen to the little voice inside. That thing that we probably refer to as “intuition.” When I do listen, I know that power is a force to be reckoned with, but often the voice is not in alignment with some agenda of mine, so I ignore it. I challenge you to listen to that intuitive voice and respond accordingly.
Spiritual: Prayer is a very powerful way to speak to whatever greater power you believe in. I typically find my mind will run on in prayer like it is a therapy session or perhaps deliver a laundry list of "asks" with a heartfelt, “Please” and “Thank You” at the end. When was the last time you sat in silence and worked to simply listen? Some might see this as dedicated meditation, which it is, but truly clear your mind and don't meditate on anything beyond keeping an open mind and heart.
Images courtesy of Digitalethos.org, Finerminds.com
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